Towards the (week of) Collaborative Futures

During the upcoming week I will be working in Berlin with 6 super smart people (Adam Hyde, Mike Linksvayer, Michael Mandiberg, Alan Toner, Aleksandar Erkalovic, Marta Peirano) on writing a whole book from scratch titled “Collaborative Futures”. The format for this collaborative writing was developed by Adam Hyde and the Floss Manuals community which is devoted to extending the accessibility of free software through the compiling free and liberally licensed manual books. The books are published online and their PDF formatting allow for an easy print on demand option.

Our book sprint is not setup as a manual though, commissioned by the Transmediale (a Berlin based new media art festival) the only piece of information we will have will be the book title. Unlike a software manual (like the one for Inkscape) or a digital practice manual (Like the one titled “How To Bypass Censorship”) this one will not have a solid rational task to bounce off of. Beyond that, throwing “futures” into the mix makes our concrete collaborative basis even thinner.

None of us know what format we will choose but all of us come with a pretty extensive experience in collaborative work so I definitely expect it to be insightful. Some of the themes I would be interested in exploring are:

  • Bridging between “sharing” and “collaboration”
  • Possible lessons from code revision technologies (like SVN vs. GIT)
  • The boundries of networked productions (like the challenges to open source design)
  • Networking beyond enemy lines – when “collaboration” is a bad word (in the Israeli/Palestinian context it is often interchangable with treason)
  • What can we learn from Haiti?

Ahhh… thousands more are comin up as I write this… but my plane is about to leave so I’d better publish before I leave NY (writing this on my phone… hard!)

Last thing: This project is open to collaborations beyond the 6 of us, we will publish how to contribute and help probably on Tuesday morning.

Last call… more updates to follow…